I have wanted to write this post for SO LONG! So many things have gotten in the way, though! I got up this morning with a terrible head cold so I cleared my schedule (sorry, laundry) and decided to stick it out in bed and write you the happiest story of my year. I gave you a hint yesterday, even!
When Napkin and I started dating nine years ago (?!) I had a best friend named Gigi.
People who knew her just knew… and it’s hard to explain… but Gigi was so much more than a cat friend. She was my BEST friend. She waited for me at doors, I held her like a baby, she was there for me in ways that transcended the limitations of cat love. Seriously. She was special.
Napkin and I broke up for a little while and I moved away, taking Gigi with me. She got cancer shortly after. Napkin came back around (because, duh) and I had gone to visit him out of town when Jammer (who I was living with at the time) called me and told me that Gigi had passed away after I had left. I will never forget the way her voice sounded and my heart will never be the same. There was a huge, tremendous, achy, awful hole in my heart and I swore I would never put myself through that again.
When Napkin and I moved in with each other– we started talking about life plans and I started thinking about how it would be nice to have a pet friend again. It had been years, at that point, and I felt like I was ready to open my heart up again to a little fur thing. (It also got people off our back’s about having a baby, so there’s that…) But with the two of us living in a tiny apartment– it just didn’t make sense.
When Napkin and I started looking at houses, I started imagining where the pet would sleep. All that space we would have! After we bought our house, Napkin and I immediately went to work on some of the bigger jobs that needed fixing. (The floor in the living room was sagging, for example. You would never know it now but whoa.) But once things calmed down, we started talking (again) about the possibility of getting a pet. One day in April, we started looking at a really helpful website called PET FINDER. It helped us narrow down pet choices and, when a particular animal tugged at our heart strings, we were able to donate money to them, helping them get the necessary medical help they needed so that they were easy adoption choices.
But nothing… and I mean NOTHING could have prepared us for the May afternoon when we decided to visit our local animal shelter. We had been doing our research for a while and we mustered the courage to visit some of our online choices in person. I was so nervous!
The animal shelter basically lets you peruse all the rooms with the animals and when you want, you can put gloves on and interact with them outside of their cage. I was in the shelter for five minutes before I was crying. (No one was surprised by this.) I had found a sweet, sweet tortoise cat by the name of “Alice” online and when I met her in person, she was so frail and skittish. And sick. Bless her heart, was she sick. A list of her necessary medications was attached to the info on her cage door. I wasn’t afraid of the medications– but I was afraid of the amount of time I would have to spend with her to make sure she got the care she needed. I travel all the time. Napkin is gone from nine to five. I knew that we wouldn’t be the right parents for her.
I was pretty heartbroken by that… and started walking around to find Napkin (he was in a room across the hall from where I was) when I felt a little tug on my sleeve. It was a sweet, timid, little, calico cat with her paw wrapped around my sleeve like, “Please don’t leave without me.”
(Bless him. Bless my hubby for taking these pictures. I didn’t even know.)
It was love at first sight. “Hot Tamale” (where do they get these names?!) was mine in like, five seconds. I just knew it. And so did she.
What I didn’t know was that I would be taking her home THAT DAY. It had been a long time since I had visited an animal shelter… but I was under the impression that once you paid the fees and filled out the paperwork– your new animal friend would get her shots and surgeries and go home to you in a few days. But these days, in an effort to make it easier for you, (and also with better funding, I imagine) the animals are treated, spayed, and immunized as soon as they make it to the shelter.
Our heads were spinning. We paid for sweet “Hot Tamale” and filled out her necessary paperwork and, just like that, she was on her way home with us.
And boy, did I cry…
(Ahahahahahahaa. I was so moved/excited/upset/happy/insane.)
We got her home and she was scared for a little while…but not as scared as we thought she would be and not for as long as we were anticipating. In fact, this is an hour or so after we got her back to the house. She started petting on Napkin’s hand. She seemed, and I mean this, just relieved.
And that was the beginning of our new little family! She had been called “Hot Tamale” for so long (we know that she was in the shelter for three months– no one knows anything about her before that) …it was hard to name her anything else. Eventually, we started calling her “Molly” and that name stuck like glue!
Welcome to our family, Molly!
Here’s a photo dump of ridiculously cute pictures just to give you an idea of how well she fits in:
My sweet little Queen Bee. We love you bunches. So from this point on, expect lots of updates on my cat babe, and an onslaught of stupid cute pictures. Because she is the best! (THE BEST!)
OH! PS! We donated money to sweet Alice’s medical costs and two weeks after we brought Molly home Alice was adopted as well! So a very happy ending! ❤